Paul E. Anna: High Points |

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Well at least it has been a good season for ski tuners.

I’m not saying that the snow has not been good, but have you taken a look at the bottoms of your skis lately? Chances are they are grooved and cut and yes, even if you sent them to your favorite mani-pedi specialist for a little love at the beginning of the season, they likely are a little rough right now.

At this time last year we had more snow than we knew what to do with. Everything was covered, with not a rock or a tree to be found for at least 24 inches below the surface and there was a daily dose of extra coverage. And we were just getting started. And don’t even ask about the year before.

This year, however, we seem to be in the middle of a “split-flow” that has storms going a bit north and a bit south while we sit in a storm, uh, rut. So far, Telluride and Steamboat both have been blessed with moderately more tonnage. According to, Ajax has a 26-inch base while Telluride logs in with 38 inches and Steamboat is between 43 and 47 inches. And Steamboat had a half foot on Wednesday when we got an optimistic 3 inches.

I remember a blurb in this very paper in November, just before Thanksgiving, that Klaus Wolter of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was predicting an El Nino-inspired pattern would send storms south of the Central Rockies. I scoffed at the time. I mean, who is this guy? Just some expert who studies weather patterns for a living and has satellite and temperature data for every square inch of this globe along with a database that goes back to the time of the first rings on California’s grand Sequoia trees.

So now the snow report for Taos, N.M., located 250 or so miles south of here, says that all 13 lifts are open and the base ranges from 32-56 inches. Exactly double the reported base on Aspen. Give it up for the guy from NOAA.

We have been spoiled for two straight years now with epic conditions and though we have full coverage and have received a few inches here and a few inches there on a weekly basis, our expectations have just been so high that we are feeling a bit sorry for ourselves.

No need for pity. Just remember that worst-day skiing is nearly always better than the best day in the office. The story is not how little snow we have, but rather how good the snow is for how little we have.

And by next week everything could change.

So keep your good boards tuned and ready because it ain’t over until it’s over.

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